Top 4 Hidden Gems in Destin FL
Attracting around 3.6 million visitors each year, Destin, FL is one of the most popular vacation spots in the Southeast! Located along the Gulf of Mexico, our idyllic city is famous for its boat tours, water sports, and gorgeous harbor. In addition to these well-publicized activities, Destin is also home to a number of lesser-known attractions that are absolutely worth a visit. To help you make the most of your next getaway, the Henderson Park Inn has put together a guide to the top four hidden gems in Destin FL.
1. Henderson Beach State Park
One of Destin’s best hidden gems is situated right next door to the Henderson Park Inn! Formerly owned by local businessman Burney M. Henderson, the 208-acre Henderson Beach State Park was opened to the public in 1991, as part of the Save Our Coasts program. Visitors to the state park will find over 6,000 feet of pristine shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico.
Featuring the Emerald Coast’s iconic sugar white sand and green-tinted water, Henderson Beach is a wonderful place to soak up the sun and go for a swim. Other highlights of the state park include a lovely ¾ mile nature trail and excellent wildlife viewing. Admission to Henderson Beach is $6 per car and $2 for pedestrians or cyclists.
2. Eden Gardens State Park
To experience more of Destin’s natural beauty, head over to Eden Gardens State Park. Located about a half hour away from the Henderson Park Inn, this stunning park boasts a number of breathtaking gardens. From October through May, visitors will see camellias and azaleas bursting with color (with March being peak season). The park also includes a butterfly garden, heritage rose garden, hidden garden, and a scenic reflection pond with koi fish and water lilies.
Besides the gardens, the other main attraction at Eden State Park is the Wesley House, a gorgeous mansion constructed by lumber baron William Henry Wesley in 1897. With its white columns and wrap around porch, the house serves as an example of how the Emerald Coast’s elites lived at the turn of the century. Admission to the park is $4 per vehicle and $2 for cyclists and pedestrians.
3. Banana Bart’s
Banana Bart’s is another one of the best hidden gems in Destin FL. Since 1985, this quirky shop has been selling the Emerald Coast’s most eclectic selection of souvenirs. Specializing in anything this is eye-catching and “funky”, Banana Bart’s inventory includes jewelry, clothing, home decor, stuffed animals, old concert posters, garden items, toys, and so much more. Many of the shop’s products are handmade by local artists. Believe it or not, the co-owner of the store really is named Bart!
4. The Other End
Inspired by Germany’s beer gardens, The Other End is the perfect place to kick back and relax with a pint and some tasty food. Guests will find 16 beers on tap and a pub-style menu with legendary burgers, pork belly tacos, duck confit grinders, and many other mouthwatering options. All of the meals at The Other End are prepared in an old Airstream RV. Located right on Destin Harbor, the restaurant offers unparalleled views of the water.
Where to Stay in Destin
When you stay at the Henderson Park Inn, you will be near all of these wonderful hidden gems in Destin FL. Our beachfront bed and breakfast has been voted the most romantic hotel in America by the users of About.com and TripAdvisor.com, and we are proud to hold the Conde Nast Johansens 2018 Award for Excellence. To start planning your vacation, browse our selection of Destin hotel rooms.